More New Developments In Successful Partnering

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 01:00

The title of this column in the July 2011 issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel was "New Developments in Successful Partnering." In that column, we discussed four of the new chapters that were added in April 2011 to the critically acclaimed treatise and practice guide entitled Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel . The space available in that column did not permit us to discuss the other four new chapters that were also added to this treatise in April 2011. Because these other new chapters also address rapidly evolving and important areas of corporate legal practice, they are discussed in this month's column. But first, a few words about the treatise.

Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel is a four-volume, 7,000 page joint project of Thomson Reuters/West and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). The 275 authors of Successful Partnering include the general counsel of more than 80 Fortune 500 companies and the senior partners of many major law firms. The editor-in-chief is Robert L. Haig, a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in New York.

The 85 chapters in the treatise cover all aspects of corporate law department operations and management, 30 substantive law subjects and all aspects of the relationships between inside and outside counsel. Each chapter is updated every year. The updates cover all of the important developments during the preceding year in the provision of legal services to corporate clients.

In addition to the annual updates, new chapters are added each year as new topics become increasingly important to corporate counsel. The four new chapters published in April 2011 that were not covered in last month's column are briefly discussed below.

Pro Bono

Many corporate counsel are interested in providing pro bono legal services but encounter obstacles when seeking meaningful pro bono opportunities. Those obstacles can often be overcome through the synergies of a pro bono partnership between corporate and outside counsel. This new chapter identifies the challenges and benefits of a pro bono partnership and suggests ways to design an effective program by providing a case study of the partnership between a corporate client 3M Company, the law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., and a nonprofit legal services organization, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS). This new chapter will help both law firms and corporate law departments identify areas for potential pro bono partnerships and strategies for developing and executing on the partnership. This new chapter was written by Marschall I. Smith, senior vice president, Legal Affairs and general counsel, 3M Company, and Martin R. Lueck, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

Government Contracts

Even the most experienced inside counsel involved in U.S. government contracts maintain regular relations with experienced outside counsel who can augment their knowledge of U.S. government contract law and assist in some of the more nuanced and complex aspects of their practice. This new chapter provides an overview of the U.S. government contracting process from bidding and award through performance to the resolution of disputes, suggests approaches to optimizing the use of inside and outside legal resources in addressing the key stages of the contracting process, and focuses in detail on the major issues likely to arise in the various stages of the contracting process, pointing out key partnering decisions that must be addressed at each stage. This new chapter was written by Michael J. Denton, vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, George D. Ruttinger, Crowell & Moring LLP, and J. Catherine Kunz, Crowell & Moring LLP.

Sports Law

As this new chapter points out, sports law not only shapes the operations of the professional leagues (and their respective member teams), but it also affects the legal landscape generally. This new chapter treats sports law pragmatically from inside and outside counsels' perspectives. Although volumes could be written on the specific rules, regulations and scenarios that teams and their counsel face, this chapter provides various representative examples aimed at highlighting the goals and considerations that inside and outside counsel should keep in mind when developing a successful partnering strategy. This new chapter was written by Lonn A. Trost, chief operating officer, New York Yankees, Irwin A. Kishner, Herrick, Feinstein LLP, and Daniel A. Etna, Herrick, Feinstein LLP.

Climate Change

The pervasive impacts of climate change on virtually all aspects of human endeavor, especially on activities involving the development, generation and use of energy, require consideration of both confrontational and collaborative approaches to legal issues. A close working relationship between corporate and outside counsel is essential for a company to minimize risk and successfully cope with climate change legal issues. This new chapter addresses the rapidly evolving climate change legal landscape and suggests how both inside and outside counsel can successfully identify and deal with the climate-change-related issues that affect corporate operations. This new chapter was written by William G. Riggins, general counsel and chief legal officer, Great Plains Energy Incorporated/Kansas City Power & Light, and James Holtcamp, Holland & Hart.

More information about Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel is available by calling West at 1-800-344-5009 or online at